Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Richmond Times Dispatch: No Rational Reason To Oppose LGBT Employment Protections

As noted many times, in Virginia LGBT citizens have ZERO state law employment protections from private employer bigotry.  Worse yet, even the Commonwealth's own agencies and departments are currently free to fire gays at will simply because they are gay.  A bill has cleared the Virginia Senate - with Lt. Governor Ralph Northam casting the deciding vote - and now faces an uncertain fate in the Virginia House of Delegates which sadly typically acts as an arm of The Family Foundation, a rabidly anti-gay hate group which also opposes modernity in general.  Now, the Richmond Times Dispatch (one of the most conservative newspapers in Virginia) has an editorial demanding that the GOP controlled House of Delegates pass the LGBT employment non-discrimination bill that only applies to state workers.  Here are editorial highlights:

The astounding thing about Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s tiebreaking vote on a hiring-discrimination bill was that he had to cast it in the first place.
The measure Northam voted for would forbid state agencies to discriminate in hiring based on sexual orientation or gender identity. That has long been state policy thanks to gubernatorial edict, but the principle should not depend on the occupant of the Executive Mansion. It should be law.
Free-market purists sometimes contend that the right to freedom of association means employers should be allowed to discriminate in hiring for the private sector. But government is not the private sector. Government has no rights — only powers and obligations. And one of its most important obligations is to guarantee equal treatment under law. There is no rational reason to let the commonwealth do otherwise.

“Virginians’ employment should be based on their job performance, not on other irrelevant characteristics,” says the bill’s sponsor, Sen. A. Donald McEachin. That is entirely right. . . . Some Virginia lawmakers clearly hold objections to homosexuality — but their personal reservations have no business affecting state policy. When it crosses over to the House, McEachin’s bill should receive swift passage.

I hope the bill passes, but I will not be holding my breath.  What The Family Foundation wants - which in this case is for LGBT Virginians to continue to be third class citizens - is what it usually gets from the Virginia GOP.

No comments: